Recreational salmon fishing in Marine Area 7 (San Juan Islands) is now only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week. Fishery managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife made the change after catch rates continued to be higher than anticipated in the San Juan Islands, said Ron Warren of WDFW’s fish program.
“Anglers have been very successful fishing in the San Juan Islands in recent months, prompting us to reduce the number of days each week this fishery is open,” Warren said. “This step will help us meet our conservation objectives.”
Earlier this month, WDFW reduced the catch limit in the San Juan Islands to one salmon per day, down from two, in an effort to keep the fishery open as long as possible. The agency is evaluating catch rates and impacts to wild Chinook stocks throughout Puget Sound to determine whether further action will be necessary in the coming weeks. As of Jan. 25, anglers had kept or released 15,625 Chinook salmon since October in Puget Sound, not including Hood Canal and South Sound. The management guideline for Chinook in Puget Sound is 31,813.
Since Jan. 29, the area has been closed to salmon fishing Monday-Thursday. The catch limit will remain at one salmon daily. Anglers are required to release wild Chinook. Anyone still hoping to fish for Chinook Mon-Thurs can head to Marine Areas 6 (eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca), 8-1 (Deception Pass), 8-2 (Port Susan) and 9 (Admiralty Inlet), which are scheduled to remain open into April.